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Twittering got me zero results! March 4, 2009

Posted by Richard Shatto in Social Media, Web Strategy.
Tags: , , ,


A LITTLE PREAMBLE: I have been using Linkedin for a while now and have had some GREAT results; connecting with many intersting professionals. I’ve also been experimenting with Twitter, unfortunately with some less impressive results. Recently, I posted a discussion question on Linkedin asking, Is Twitter Redundant for Those Already Using Linkedin? After many great comments, here is my most recent exchange with Matt Boudin Jr, a Social Media Marketing Consultant at Awareness Inc. It was posted on the Social Media Maverns Group on Linkedin.

BTW, if you are a business person and are not using Linkedin, I encourage you to do so. It is a valuable communcations tool and resource. 

First, Matt’s excellent response to my Linked in discussion question. 

Hi Richard,

If you are looking for a quick response to your question Twitter is definitely the way to go… 

There is a lot of research that shows a tweet only is read for 5 minutes after it is posted, after that it is lost in a sea of updates and posts.

If you are following more than 20 or 30 people you will be consumed with trying to follow all of the tweets…

and if you aren’t using tweetdeck or some other way to track updates you have to be sitting online or else you will probably miss a lot of tweets and will never have time to read them.

If it is an important question post it on Linkedin…

it might take longer for a response but you can see that even days after you posted the question people are still responding, if you tweeted about this a few days ago it would have already been lost and forgotten. Just my two cents anyways.

Matt’s Linkedin Comment

Hi Matt, thank you for your salient comments. They make sense and mesh with my own personal experience.

Indeed, I have Tweetdeck and even with it and with my 100 or so followers I get lost. Although, admittedly I haven’t yet taken much time to learn how to use it. And, at this point I wonder just how many people are using Tweetdeck type programs?

As for Twitter generating getting immediate action? I’ll say “maybe”… for some.

Twitter Experiment

Last week, on a whim, I did a little Twitter experiment; an attempt to drive some traffic to a small online Charity Auction supporting Australian Fire Victims. It was a friend’s daughter’s (15) little blog project… really quite cute and inventive. (You can read more about it on my blog) I was measuring traffic to my blog and her sites (SparkyBarky blog, Lizzy’s YouTube and eBay Australian Fire Victim Charity Painting Auction) to see what immediate and monetize-able results my Tweet campaign would produce.

one way to get better Tweet results was to be straightforward and ask a Tweeter with a big following for help.

My Twitter and SMM experiment was based on a blog I read from Guy Kawasaki, one of Twitter’s phenoms, where he suggested that one way to get more Twitter results was to ask other Twitterer’s with a high follow count to help you. So I decided,  I’d put it to the test. I’d tweet the information about the Charity in a variety of ways.

  1. First, I  Tweeted my followers a few times about the Charity, its’ information and story links… NOTHING, but not unexpected with only 100 followers. 
  2. Next, I direct D @tweeted some Tweetdom mid-rollers (10,000 – 20,000 followers) to see of they would retweet RT for me… NOTHING. 
  3. Finally, I emailed some Big Tweeters (50,000 – 100,000) and asked them specifically to RT my Tweet and then direct D @tweeted those BT’ers… AGAIN NOTHING. 

So, what Happened?

No RT’s, and no new traffic to her eBay auction or Blog sites. I’m not sure what to make of this result.

I thought this was the very magic of Twitter

I know it was small test, but it was thought out and, though I wasn’t expecting much, I was dismayed that it got virtually zero (0).  What happened? Did my tweets get lost in all the noise? I thought this was the very magic of Twitter… virtually instant results.

I suspect that unless you have built up a large following, it’s going to be pretty hard to get noticed in this Twittering ocean.

I think what I learned is that unless there is a specific Twitter strategy in place, Twitter can be a simply a noisy, heady (for some) and distracting place. As with all business practices, there needs to be a monetization model and I think, presently at least, there are a lot of people scrambling to figure out what that is… and none more so than the growing list of Twitter VC’s.

Now, Linkedin, on the other hand, is producing many information, links, connections and relationships… your comment is a prime example.

Unless Twitter and those IT geniuses can find a better way of managing the shear tsunami of tweets and chirps, I suspect Twitter just may live up to its name.




1. Sharon Drechsler - March 8, 2009

This is very useful in confirming my own supposition that, unless you stay online 24/7 watching twitter and use tweetdeck, you are likely to miss seeing the very tweets you most value as you are inundated with verbose multi-twitterers’ ramblings. You seem to be very “on top” of the world of social media and I will be watching your blog for further great info.

2. Sharon Drechsler - March 8, 2009

The article didn’t mention Facebook, but I am finding that to be an interesting vehicle for business, too.

3. Richard Shatto - March 8, 2009

Hi Sharon,

Thanks for the comment. I am currently making a serious assessment of the value and business opportunity SMM provides. I want to be on the leading edge, not the bleeding edge. But, from what I have deduced thus far, we are likely currently seeing the proverbial tip of the iceberg. I hope I can provide you some great info.

FYI, I am also beginning to use the Facebook opportunity more, and realizing how simple FB is making it to communicate SMM information.

Look forward to seeing you and Dick next week.


4. Sharon Drechsler - March 8, 2009

Yes, it would appear we’ll have no lack of interesting topics to discuss!


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